CAFOD Southwark at the Big IF Rally


Thank you so much to everyone who came to the Big IF G8 Rally on Saturday and joined with the thousands of wonderful CAFOD Supporters who prayed, walked, sung, danced and most importantly spoke out in solidarity with those around the world you do not have enough to eat:

Kathy Szczegolski, CAFOD Southwark office Volunteer, went to the Big IF Rally along with her parish’s Justice and Peace group.  The group says,“One in eight people on this planet lives with the pain of hunger, yet our planet provides enough food for everyone. It’s unfair, it’s unjust, and it’s totally preventable.”

Kathy and the Forest Hill J&P Group

Kathy and the Forest Hill J&P Group on the Walk of Witness from Westminster Central Hall to Hyde Park

John Vine CAFOD parish contact at St Stephen’s in welling said,

“It is a total injustice that there is enough food for everybody but big companies and Governments are not doing what they should to make it available to people who are going hungry.”

John and Freda Vine (Right) with freind and fellow St Stephen's parishioner Eileen (left)

John and Freda Vine (Right) with freind and fellow St Stephen’s parishioner Eileen (left) out side Westminster Central Hall

Linah Biz CAFOD Southwark office Volunteer said,

“It’s cruel to neglect a neighbour in need, and watch them die because of lack of simple necessities, like food and water. Our politicians should detest the thought of a child in another part of the world dying because they didn’t have food when the Earth provides it.”

Roger Wright, CAFOD supporter/parishioner of St James’, Petts Wood, said

“The ordinary citizen can only protest at the injustice of preventable hunger – it needs governments to take action so that big global companies do not ‘steal’ land and food from the developing world.  It is criminal that land is used to grow crops to help fuel our transport systems.  We demand justice for the hungry poor – not handouts.”

Roger showing his support in Hyde Park

Roger Wright showing his support in Hyde Park

The atmosphere during the whole day at the Big IF Rally was incredible, from the Ecumenical service at Westminster Central hall where Archbishop Vincent Nichols spoke of the injustice of hunger in the world; he said

“Our world and our global family were not made so that some could feast while others hungered. Everyone has a right to his or her daily bread.”

to the main event in Hyde Park there were around forty-five thousand people gathered all demanding that the Prime Minister David Cameron and G8 leaders tackle global hunger.

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We were treated to great speakers at the rally like Bill Gates, Danny Boyle, Rowan Williams, Natasha Kaplinsky, and Actor and CAFOD Ambassador David Harewood who spoke with great passion calling on David Cameron to use the UK’s G8 presidency in 2013 to prioritise the issue of hunger and encouraging all to raise their voices together to bring an end to hunger in our world.

Already your voices have made a great difference as $4bn was pledged at an international “nutrition summit”, which will aim to save the lives of 1.7million children. But it doesn’t stop here, CAFOD’s director of advocacy Neil Thorns said:

“The Big IF Rally and Nutrition for Growth Event is just the start. The big issues of transparency, tax and land must now be tackled by the G8 leaders if the root causes of hunger are to have a chance of being eradicated. We must keep the pressure on in the build-up to the G8.”

You can find out more about events leading up to the G8 Summit on our website, you can take action by signing up to the Enough Food for everyone IF campaign, and you can pray for the world leaders at the G8 and for all those around the world who are hungry.


Thank you for joining the Big IF Rally!

On Saturday, thousands of CAFOD supporters were part of the 45,000 people that took to Hyde Park in London for the Big IF G8 Rally. The film below shows the highlights – if you were there, perhaps you can spot yourself!

Make sure you keep an eye on the blog, as we’ll be telling you how members of the CAFOD Southwark team got on at the big event! And don’t forget – it’s not too late to sign up to the campaign and help make 2013 the beginning of the end of the global hunger crisis.


An invation to join CAFOD Southwark at the Big IF G8 Rally

The Big If G8 Rally on the 8th June is fast approaching and we are getting excited about the great day that has been planned – and we hope you are too!

We would love to see you at the BIG IF Rally, so Eileen and Sarah from the Southwark office have put together some details below about how the day will go. And don’t forget, if you are coming with a group you can make your own Big IF, using your Hungry for Change Loaves and Fishes, to bring along to the rally and display in the CAFOD area at Hyde Park!

You can down load a guide on how to make you Big IF on the CAFOD Website>>>

The day

It kicks off with an Ecumenical Service held at Westminster Central Hall, with Archbishop Vincent Nichols joining us to worship and pray. The service begins at 11.30am, but doors open at 10.30am so you can arrive early to get a seat.

After the service we will gather outside Westminster Central Hall at about 12.30pm. We will have a CAFOD Southwark Banner/ Placard, and we welcome you to meet up with us so, together, we can begin the ‘Walk of Witness’ from Westminster Central Hall to Hyde Park. The Walk will start at 1pm and we hope to arrive at Hyde Park by 2pm for the main event.

We will gather with thousands of other fellow CAFOD supporters from around the country in Hyde Park at 2pm for music, inspiring speakers, and activities for all the family, finishing at 5pm.

The Hyde Park event will have interactive areas set up throughout the site, including a children’s area with professional story-tellers, dedicated areas for YouTubers and bloggers, and a ‘Make IF Happen’ area with busking, spoken word, and fun photo opportunities.

We will also be treated to inspirational speeches from philanthropist Bill Gates, former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and broadcaster Natasha Kaplinsky. The event will be hosted by Myleene Klass and Gethin Jones.

There will also be opportunity for everyone at the event to help create a huge visual petition to demonstrate the scale of public support for the IF campaign. The petition will be made up of 250,000 spinning flowers, with a total of two million petals representing the two million children who die because of hunger each year.

If you would like to come along, please do get in touch – we would really love to know how many CAFOD supporters will be joining us on the 8th June at The Big IF G8 Rally, so if you are planning on coming then please sign up online.

Looking forward to meeting you there!

Eileen and Sarah

[Photo: Matt Crossick/PA Wire]

[Photo: Matt Crossick/PA Wire]